Cut through the social media clutter with Instagram

Posted by Murray Sye

on Wed, May 6, 2015 @ 09:39 AM


Is your business using Instagram as part of your social marketing mix? 

If not, you may want to consider this: Instagram is one of the fastest growing social networks with more than 300 million accounts. Over the past four years Instagram has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos every day.

In a recent Forrester Research study, of how users interact with brands' social-media posts, it was discovered that when it comes to engagement, Instagram is far superior to any other social network. While six of the seven social networks Forrester studied, had an engagement rate of less than 0.1 percent, Instagram's engagement rate was 4.21 percent.

Instagram's success is in part due to the fact that we gravitate to visuals, and Instagram is all about visuals.

In addition, users are also highly engaged with the platform. Each day, half of all users spend an average of 21 minutes on the app. The ability to make an impact with a single piece of content is growing rapidly, and giving the visual network real, measurable value for brands. 


Simply Measured's Quarterly Instagram Network Study (Q4 2014) found that 86% of Interbrand's 2014 Top 100 Brands had an Instagram account, which was up from 71% from the previous year.

So I now have you convinced right? Instagram is not to be ignored. Let's look at who's rockin' it and maybe we can learn a thing or two about embracing Instagram in unique ways for your company.

Quest Nutrition
Hey, if you're part of the low-carb and fitness crowd, you've probably heard of Quest Nutrition. They create nutritional food and drink products to help people reach their own health and fitness goals. According to TOTEMS Analytics (Instagram stats), Quest Nutrition grows in follower count by a little over 15K/month.

Always having fun with their brand, Quest Nutrition created a 15 second video about a new product. Quest sent the brand new Quest Bar to their friends around the country. This is how they reacted. Quest Nutrition found a way to make video work, driving engagement with video content according to PicStats.



Warby Parker
Eyeglass retailer Warby Parket has built a loyal following among those who cherish good design at a reasonable price. Warby Parker captures the essence of the brand with eclectic array of images featuring unexpected subjects and thoughtful composition. Photos never feel overly staged, but instead draw from trends in the Instagram community to reflect the brand's quirky creativity.



Island Company
Instagram helps brands share stories through imagery. When it comes to presenting your brand on social media, your reputation and brand image is only as strong and complete as your most recent update. Clothing retailers like Island Company do a great job of presenting their brand and their products with hi-quality imagery. Island Company is a high-end travel apparel lifestyle brand.  I think they've completely nailed it – their playful brand culture shines through with images that look great. 


General Electric
Who says Instagram has nothing to offer the B2B community? Not so, and according to TOTEMS Analytics, General Electric grows in follower count by roughly 2k per month. They may not be the first brand that comes to mind when you think Instagram, GE has been known for leveraging social media to connect with their audience. They have been able to take very serious subject matter and make it educational, interesting and exciting - as in the sample video below.



charity: water
Who says you can't promote a charitable brand with Instagram. People sometimes hesitate to give to charity because they can't see their donation making a difference. One way charity: water, which aims to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world, set out to address that challenge is by connecting donors to results through technology. This strategy includes Instagram, where charity: water shares images of clean water projects and the children whose lives have been changed by them.



Mission Bikes San Francisco-based bicycle purveyor Mission Bicycle Company takes a simple approach to capturing its classic two-wheelers. By framing colourful bikes against contrasting coloured walls and industrial backdrops, Mission Bicycle turns everyday objects into works of art. As the shots expose this simple beauty, they also remind us that there's a bicycle out there just waiting for a rider.



Some purists believe that Instagram should be reserved for photos taken on a phone. But if everyone followed their lead, we'd miss out on the adrenaline-induced moments from GoPro. The creativity by the brand and its athletes is both breathtaking (a diver and his wife saving an entangled Manta Ray in the Philippines) and hilarious (a French bulldog carrying a stick mounted to a GoPro). Either way the images and videos prompt viewers to wonder what moments they could capture with a GoPro.


A relative newcomer to the consumer packaged good scene, Chobani charted its own course to become the top-selling Greek yogurt in the U.S. While most marketers would balk at caputuring products sans packaging, Chobani embraces it. The brand sees an opportunity to underscore that its yogurt is real food made from natural ingredients. Followers contribute too, capturing and sharing their yogurt concoctions with the hashtag #creationaday.



For today's teens and young adults, image is everything – particularly when it comes to how they communicate. Creating and sharing visual content is not just second-nature – it is how many learn about the world, discover their best selves and find a sense of belonging. And Instagram inspires the journey. 

Instagram is a place where teens and adults go to discover what's new and what's next. The platform holds unique appeal because it captures the immediacy of the moment, ignites creative expression and provides a connection to a likeminded community.

In a study conducted by Crowd DNA, April-May 2014 (a study commissioned by Facebook) – here's what teens and young adults describe Instagram as: 


Are you using Instagram as part of your social marketing mix? We'd love to hear from you, add your comments in the form below.


Social Media Edition – Fish Where The Fish Are


Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Follow WhiteSpace

Join Our Mailing List